This is my first post here at Mirai. Great community. Wonderful place. Thanks to everyone, and of course, to Ryan, for the exchange of information and ideas.
I’m writing because I had a collection go bad on me. I’m in Calgary, AB - a rather challenging place to grow. Zone 3b (4a-to-5 depending on the year). Chinook winds routinely wake trees out of dormancy. Wind is frequently a factor. It’s usually pretty dry, although we’re in a 20 year wet cycle right now that comes every 100-150 years. High UV year round. Hot summer days and cold nights.
I collected a Potentilla a couple days ago. I had a limited period of access to the area (a private acreage) on a miserably rainy, cold day. I worked quickly. Perhaps too quickly. Got the tree home with a substantial amount of muck and wild grasses forming a thatch mesh around the root ball. I usually don’t fully bare root, but Potentillas are generally pretty resilient up here so I put it in an impromptu sluice box and gently teased out the grass roots and washed out the high prairie sludge.
With the detritus removed it looked ok. Not a great root ball, but serviceable. I picked the tree up to move to my planting area and then the main 4/5ths of the trunk base came apart in my hands. Little if any force was used in the bare root. I can only surmise that the damage was done up on the foothills where I dug it and the thatch/muck mesh had held it together with me unawares.
The 1/5th remaining on the desired trunk has some roots remaining, but not much. 90% of the growth is on said trunk. The remaining 4/5ths of stump has a pencil thin sucker with enough roots to support a tree 10Xs it’s size. Perhaps this is fate’s way of reminding me not to dig Potentilla in the rain.
What should I do? It’s not fully detached from the stump, but I don’t think it can be mended…at least not in an environment like Calgary. Should I try to split it off cleanly, take Randy’s advice, heel it in to sawdust and pray?
Are there any Potentilla experts here?
I can send pictures tomorrow if warranted.
Thanks for your consideration.